The beginning of the Steve Johnson era at Rio Hondo as men's basketball head coach got off to a tough start. In Thursday's season-opener at the 6th annual Don Gehler Memorial Tournament at San Diego Miramar College, the Roadrunners were defeated 69-61 by Mira Costa College. And on Friday, Rio Hondo suffered another close loss, falling 86-82 in overtime to Southwestern College.
Sophomore Kenyatta Louder made his presence felt for the Roadrunners. The La Sierra University transfer averaged 26.5 points over the two games to lead Rio Hondo.
Mira Costa 69, Rio Hondo 61
Louder scored eight of Rio Hondo's first 10 points and helped the Roadrunners build a 22-15 lead with six minutes left in the first half. But Mira Costa closed out the period with a 12-0 run to take a 27-22 advantage into the halftime.
The game remained close in the second. Rio Hondo led 41-40 after a layup by Jesus Hernandez at the 13:15 mark. But once again, the Spartans capitalized on the Roadrunners' cold shooting, using a 12-2 run to go ahead for good 52-43 with 6:25 to play.
Louder scored a game-high 27 points in his Rio Hondo debut and added four rebounds. Hernandez added 11 points and four boards while Alexis Baron and Anthony Rios both chipped in with eight points.
Southwestern 86, Rio Hondo 82 (OT)
Louder once again led all in scoring, this time with 26 points, but Rio Hondo came up on the losing end in overtime.
The Roadrunners were up 37-35 at halftime and led all the way until mid-way through the second half. Rio Hondo was trailing by two points with under two minutes remaining before Emilio Arrellano tied up the game at 77 with his layup at the 1:17 mark.
Louder had a chance to win the game for the Roadrunners, but his three-point shot at the end of regulation couldn't find its way home.
In overtime, Rio Hondo was outscored 9-5 by Southwestern to close out the contest. Southwestern's Darryl Wilson nailed a three-pointer with 1:03 left that proved to be the game-winner.
Louder added seven rebounds to go with his 26 points while Hernandez added 20 points. Rios had another good game off the bench with 18 points and Baron nearly had a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Johnson and the Roadrunners (0-2) will look to collect their first win when they return to action next Saturday (Nov. 11) in a road game at MiraCosta College.